Does Russia want to ban cryptocurrencies? Yes and no

Recently, information about an alleged planned cryptocurrency ban in Russia appeared on the Internet. Is it true?

Will Russia ban Bitcoin?

Russia is reportedly preparing to impose a strict ban on trading in cryptocurrency assets such as bitcoin. At the same time, this will not mean a ban on mining digital assets. Sounds absurd? A bit like that. But let's take a closer look at the matter.

First of all, everything fits into the broader government policy – an attempt to regulate the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Russian politicians want to ensure that only miners and mines approved by the country's central bank can mine cryptocurrencies. The operation of stock exchanges is to be prohibited in practice. Therefore, it will be possible to mine BTC, but the mining would be sold on foreign platforms.

Anton Gorelkin, chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, tried to explain on social media that he does not support a complete ban on cryptocurrency trading in Russia. In a post on Telegram, he wrote that the mentioned restriction is not intended to ban all use of blockchain coins in trade, but rather to regulate the creation of cryptocurrency exchange platforms within Russia's legal framework.

Additionally, Gorelkin noted that the restriction may be lifted in the future. Users will still be able to use foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and OTC (over-the-counter) services as before.

This is quite a strange policy. Russia will make domestic stock exchanges disappear from its market, and Russians will use foreign platforms.

The chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market shed more light on the matter. Anatoly Aksakov added on another occasion that the controversial law aims to strengthen the dominance of the ruble. The bill is also expected to include an exemption for cryptocurrency miners and pilot projects supported by the central bank. Specific regulatory sandboxes are to be created.

Meanwhile, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov advocates a more balanced approach and has pushed for regulations to enable the use of cryptocurrencies in both domestic and international transactions.

So what's the point after all?

It all sounds quite chaotic. So it seems that there is still a debate going on in Russia about what to do with cryptocurrencies. Nothing is certain, and the latest reports about the BTC ban can be considered fake news. A ban is possible, but it's still a long way off.